Monday, July 30, 2012

UK troops in Somalia 'aiding Africa Union force' BBC News -

UK troops in Somalia 'aiding Africa Union force'

African Union peacekeepers take up positions during brief clashes with Islamist militants, June 2012The African Union forces in Somalia have been boosted to nearly 18,000 this year
The UK has established a small military presence in Somalia, the British Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
A team of 10 military advisers is based at the headquarters of the African Union force in the capital, Mogadishu.
They do not have a combat role; their job is to help the AU with planning, communications and medical support.
But a BBC correspondent says some of the advisers have been seen in Afgoye, a strategic town west of the capital recently taken from Islamist militants.
The al-Shabab group, which joined al-Qaeda earlier this year, still controls many rural areas in southern and central Somalia but is under pressure on several fronts.
The country has been without a functioning central authority since 1991 and has been wracked by fighting ever since - a situation that has allowed piracy and lawlessness to flourish.
Key moment
"We have sent a small team of advisers to assist the AU peacekeeping mission. They do not have a combat role," an MoD spokesman said in a statement.
BBC world affairs correspondent Peter Biles says the confirmation of a British military presence in Somalia comes at a key moment in the efforts towards a political transition.
The UN-backed interim government is supposed to hand over to a new administration by 20 August when a new president and parliament will be elected.
Our correspondent says it is hoped that this will end the corruption and misappropriation of funds that have tarnished the reputation of the current Somali authorities.
Ethiopian troops, pro-government militias and the African Union force - which has US and European funding and was boosted earlier this year to nearly 18,000 - have helped the transitional government recently expand its control outside Mogadishu.
In the last few months, the militants have lost several key positions, including Afgoye, Baidoa in central Somalia and the southern town of 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blast in refugee camp wounds 6 in northeast Kenya -

NAIROBI (Reuters) - An explosive device hit a police vehicle inside a refugee camp near the border with Somalia on Wednesday, wounding all six people aboard in the latest attack in the region, officials said.

The vehicle, carrying three police officers and three civilians, was escorting aid workers travelling in a separate car to distribute food in the Dadaab refugee camp, police officials said.

The aid workers were unhurt.

At least 32 people have been killed in attacks on the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the port city of Mombasa and the northern town of Garissa since October, when Kenya sent troops into neighboring Somalia to crush al Shabaab insurgents.

The militants, linked to al Qaeda, were blamed for a surge in violence and kidnappings in Kenya.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for the blast on Wednesday.

"The injured police officers were escorting officials of Care International to distribute food within the camp when their car hit a device", Philip Tuimur, the regional police chief, told Reuters from Garissa by phone.

Last month, Kenya witnessed its worst attack when masked assailants launched simultaneous gun and grenade raids on two churches in Garissa, killing at least 17 people and wounding 60.

(Reporting by Humphrey Malalo and Abdisalan Ahmed; Editing by George Obulutsa and Alessandra Rizzo)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

European Union says Somalia must meet deadline for ending transitional period -

Somali leaders and stakeholders must adhere to the August 20th deadline for ending the transitional government period and act in the best interest of the Somali people, the Council of the European Union said Monday (July 23rd).
The council welcomed the agreement on the constitution that Somali Roadmap signatories reached in Nairobi last month, but expressed concern that the "continuous readjustment of timelines and missed deadlines risk undermining the transparency and legitimacy of the political process initiated by the Garowe Principles".
"An extension of the mandate of the Transitional Federal Institutions will not be accepted and efforts to obstruct genuine reform in Somalia will be met with appropriate action," the council said in a statement.
The European Union "urges the Somali leadership to act in full transparency and provide public information during the remainder of this period", the council said, stressing the importance of meeting the commitment of 30% representation for women in the new federal government.
The council called on Somalia's traditional elders to swiftly complete the selection of National Constituent Assembly (NCA) delegates so that the draft constitution can be put to a referendum.
The NCA meeting has been delayed several times but it is scheduled to open in Mogadishu on Wednesday.

About Me

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.